Former Husker All-Americans Jordan Hooper and Kelsey Griffin continue to serve in key roles on their WNBA teams as both Tulsa and Connecticut approach the halfway point of the regular season.
Nebraska's two most recent first-team All-Americans go head-to-head Thursday, July 3, with a 6 p.m. central tip-off at Connecticut, before squaring off again at the BOK Center in Tulsa on Saturday, July 5 at 7 p.m.
Hooper, a rookie for Tulsa, produced her best game of WNBA Week 7 with nine points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal in a narrow 92-89 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on June 28. Hooper, a 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., hit a trio of three-pointers against the Sparks.
She managed two points and collected six rebounds and a steal the next night in an 80-77 setback to Phoenix. Hooper capped the week with five points, a rebound and an assist in a 90-74 loss at New York. For the week, Hooper averaged 5.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 20.7 minutes per contest.
In her first WNBA season, Hooper is averaging 6.8 points and 2.7 rebounds while carrying a strong +6.19 efficiency. Tulsa slipped to 6-10 on the season with its 0-3 week, but the young Shock have dropped six games by four points or less on the year.
Griffin and Connecticut also suffered through an 0-3 week with narrow losses at Washington, at New York and at home to San Antonio.
In the 69-63 setback at Washington, Griffin scored eight points, grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists and had two steals in just 16 minutes of work. Two nights later in a 67-65 loss at New York, Griffin went scoreless but had two rebounds, two steals and an assist in just eight minutes of action. She closed the week with two points, five rebounds and a steal in 17 minutes of a 74-71 loss to the Silver Stars.
For the week, the 6-2 forward from Eagle River, Alaska, who celebrated her birthday on July 2, averaged 3.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.0 assist in 13.7 minutes per game. For the season, Griffin is averaging 4.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 21.4 minutes per game. She has started seven games for the 8-9 Sun and carries and impressive +8.56 efficiency on the season.
Nebraska's active representatives in the WNBA slipped to two players, when former Husker All-America point guard Lindsey Moore was waived by the Minnesota Lynx in late-June. Moore had already signed a professional contract to play in the WNBL in Australia during the upcoming season overseas.In addition to the pair of match-ups between Griffin and Hooper this week, the WNBA will feature a battle between Connecticut and Atlanta on Tuesday, July 8, in a game televised live nationally by ESPN2. The same night, Indiana will take on Tulsa at the BOK Center at 7 p.m.
Huskers in the WNBA (Week 7 - June 26-July 2)
- Kelsey Griffin (5th season, Connecticut Sun) - 4.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.5 spg (16 games)
- Jordan Hooper (1st season, Tulsa Shock) - 6.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg (16 games)
Week 8 Schedule (July 3-9)
- Tulsa at Connecticut, Thursday, July 3, 6 p.m.
- Connecticut at Tulsa, Saturday, July 5, 7 p.m.
- Connecticut at Atlanta, Tuesday, July 8, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
- Indiana at Tulsa, Tuesday, July 8, 7 p.m.